← back to stories
Copied link
Retour sur | 20 Jun 2023

SINGA launches a campaign on the professional downgrading of refugees

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, SINGA launches a large-scale communication campaign to raise awareness and combat the professional downgrading of refugees in their host society. Broadcast through nationwide billboards in France and digitally across Europe, the campaign sheds light on the shattered dreams and wasted potential of thousands of women and men, through the unique stories of Laila and Joseph.

The professional downgrading of refugees: “10 years wasted”

Today, despite their skills and qualifications, many refugees face a challenging journey to access jobs that match their level of education and experience. This downgrading is the result of various obstacles: non-recognition of diplomas, language barriers, lack of network, racism, and discrimination.

Comparing the employment of refugees in their country of origin and in France, the number of manual workers increases from 22% to 46%, employees from 18% to 42%, while the number of executives and intellectual professions decreases from 10% to 2% (IFRI study in 2022).

As a result, a newcomer takes an average of 10 years to regain their initial socio-professional status. This professional downgrading has direct consequences on their social and economic inclusion and also on society, which misses out on these talents and potentials.


Several individuals who have experienced this downgrading share their testimonies:

I worked in the film industry for 23 years and received numerous international awards. I have a background in journalism and also studied economics. I came to France 2 years ago to protect my family after the Taliban took power. In my country, I had responsibilities and was recognized for it, but here, I am just at home taking language courses. I have many plans for the future and remain hopeful, even though there are still many obstacles to overcome.” Aqila Aqeel, Afghanistan

I was a physics teacher. I left my country in 2018 due to an interreligious marriage and threats against me at the university… Integrating into France has been difficult due to language barriers and administrative obstacles. I now live in Lyon. I work here and there, sometimes in stores, sometimes as a painter, and more recently, I repaired washing machines. I don’t have a specific profession. – Qurbanali Akhlaqi, Afghanistan

I am a general practitioner. I fled Yemen in 2020 to escape the war. After a year and a half as an asylum seeker, I obtained refugee status. However, my medical degree is not recognized in France, making it difficult to practice my profession. To achieve it, I have to retake exams and reach a B2 level in French. Despite my self-study efforts, French training, and assistance from associations, I have not been able to resume my work yet. – Sameh Abdullah, Yemen

An unprecedented citizen awareness campaign

The main objective of this campaign is to raise public awareness about the systemic challenges that refugees face in the host society and to highlight the waste it represents for our society not to allow these individuals to contribute to the extent of their experiences and skills.

We talk a lot about migration but have very few images of individuals and their stories. We wanted to combat this constant dehumanization by creating an emotional connection, highlighting dreams, skills, and everything these people can bring to society – Jérôme Gonfond from STRIKE

We want to promote a different narrative about immigration, reminding people that a society that opens up and knows how to welcome those who join it becomes stronger. Facilitating the recognition of diplomas, improving language learning programs, providing access to work from the asylum request, sensitizing companies to the benefits of interculturality… many solutions need to be implemented” Benoît Hamon, CEO of SINGA Global

This campaign is the result of collaboration among several engaged collectives: four students from the communication school Sup de Pub in Lyon, the advertising agency STRIKE, and the entrepreneurs from the SINGA community who play the characters in the advertisement.


An invitation for everyone to take concrete action with SINGA

At a time when some have nothing else to offer than building walls and dividing, SINGA proposes to create connections and invites citizens and companies to join the movement.

If you wish to get involved in favor of the inclusion of refugees, you can make a donation at potentiel-migration.singa.fr or join the SINGA community to share your network or support newly arrived entrepreneurs.